In a case that may be of interest to New Mexico premises liability plaintiffs, state’s supreme court recently granted summary judgment to a carnival company after a teenager was fatally injured crossing a road adjacent to the carnival grounds. According to the court’s opinion, the young girl and her friends were searching for somewhere to wash their hands after eating cotton candy. The carnival had portable toilets that had hand sanitizer gel, but there were no facilities that had running water.
The group of girls decided to go across the street to a fast-food restaurant, which presumably had running water. The pedestrian-crossing signal at the intersection was not working, so the girls decided to cross without a walk signal. Sadly, as they were crossing, the young girl was fatally hit by a passing car.
The young girl’s estate brought a lawsuit against the carnival, alleging that they were responsible for her death due to their wanton and reckless behavior. The lower court dismissed the case in favor of the defendant, finding that they did not violate any duty of care owed to the young girl. The plaintiff then appealed, and the Supreme Court agreed with the lower court.